McALESTER — Coming to McAlester High School from Frink-Chambers, Courtney Smith needed a lot of help from her older sister Cheyenne to find her way. When Smith joined the Lady Buffs softball team, Cheyenne and other upperclassmen helped her fit in.
Now a senior herself, Smith said she’s made sure to treat her younger teammates the same way.
“The seniors don’t treat the freshmen differently,” Smith said. “We’re all like sisters. We’re really close as a team.
“My softball girls are my go-to people. I can talk to them about anything.”
Born in McAlester, Smith said she started playing t-ball when she was 4 or 5. She still remembers sliding into first base during a coach-pitch game, “and I learned never to do that again.”
Smith went on to play for the Frink-Chambers Lady Falcons, including on the 2007 team that won an Organization of Rural Elementary Schools state championship.
She made her first start as a Lady Buff during her sophomore year.
“I was so nervous, definitely, being one of the younger ones out there with all the seniors out there,” Smith said of her first varsity game. “I was terrified, because there were only three of us that weren’t seniors. So definitely I was afraid to make a mistake and get yelled at, but the seniors calmed me down and told me to just go out there and have fun.”
Throughout her career, Smith said she’s played every position but pitcher. But this season Smith has almost exclusively played the two corner outfield positions, which has allowed her to show off her strong arm.
“We do a lot of lifting,” Smith said. “I think it’s made me a lot stronger.
“It kind of puts a lot of pressure on you. Even if it gets past the infielder, you’re there, but you know it can’t get past you.”